Influences of Electromagnetic Articulography Sensors on Speech Produced by Healthy Adults and Individuals With Aphasia and Apraxia Purpose This study examined whether the intraoral transducers used in electromagnetic articulography (EMA) interfere with speech and whether there is an added risk of interference when EMA systems are used to study individuals with aphasia and apraxia. Method Ten adult talkers (5 individuals with aphasia/apraxia, 5 controls) produced ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2006
Influences of Electromagnetic Articulography Sensors on Speech Produced by Healthy Adults and Individuals With Aphasia and Apraxia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • William F. Katz
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Sneha V. Bharadwaj
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Monica P. Stettler
    University of Texas at Dallas
  • Contact author: William F. Katz, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas, 1966 Inwood Road, Dallas, Texas 75235. Email: wkatz@utdallas.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Apraxia of Speech & Childhood Apraxia of Speech / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2006
Influences of Electromagnetic Articulography Sensors on Speech Produced by Healthy Adults and Individuals With Aphasia and Apraxia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 645-659. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/047)
History: Received July 9, 2005 , Accepted October 30, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 645-659. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/047)
History: Received July 9, 2005; Accepted October 30, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose This study examined whether the intraoral transducers used in electromagnetic articulography (EMA) interfere with speech and whether there is an added risk of interference when EMA systems are used to study individuals with aphasia and apraxia.

Method Ten adult talkers (5 individuals with aphasia/apraxia, 5 controls) produced 12 American English vowels in /hVd/ words, the fricative–vowel (FV) words (/si/, /su/, /ěi/, /ěu/), and the sentence She had your dark suit in greasy wash water all year, in EMA sensors-on and sensors-off conditions. Segmental durations, vowel formant frequencies, and fricative spectral moments were measured to address possible acoustic effects of sensor placement. A perceptual experiment examined whether FV words produced in the sensors-on condition were less identifiable than those produced in the sensors-off condition.

Results EMA sensors caused no consistent acoustic effects across all talkers, although significant within-subject effects were noted for a small subset of the talkers. The perceptual results revealed some instances of sensor-related intelligibility loss for FV words produced by individuals with aphasia and apraxia.

Conclusions The findings support previous suggestions that acoustic screening procedures be used to protect articulatory experiments from those individuals who may show consistent effects of having devices placed on intraoral structures. The findings further suggest that studies of fricatives produced by individuals with aphasia and apraxia may require additional safeguards to ensure that results are not adversely affected by intraoral sensor interference.

Acknowledgments
Portions of the results were presented in 2001 at the 39th Meeting of the Academy of Aphasia (Boulder, CO). This research was supported by Callier Excellence Award 19-02. We would like to thank June Levitt, Nicole Rush, and Michiko Yoshida for assistance with acoustic analysis.
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